“First of all it is important to set the context for the vote on the Queen’s Speech.
The Queen’s Speech marks the beginning of a new session of Parliament and sets out the Government’s long-term legislative programme for the coming year. It is the place to announce new laws the government plans to bring forward.
The Labour Party amendment would not have resulted in a windfall tax. It simply noted one was not included in the Queens Speech. However, the Queens Speech is never the place to announce tax and spending decisions. The time and place for supportive financial announcements would be at Budget statement, Spending Reviews or other financial statements, with these decisions rightly made by the Chancellor.
The opposition knows this, and their amendment yesterday was nothing but a cynical political ploy to grab a headline.
It is for the Chancellor to introduce fiscal measures and indeed all future decisions on tax will be made by the Chancellor in the normal way.
I think we also need to be clear that a windfall tax would not be the answer to the current pressures households are facing that some are pretending it would. It could realise around £2billion which comes to about £1.30 per week for every household in the UK. This is far less than the measures already announced by the government.
We have already responded to the cost of living crisis with a number of measures that amount to more than £22 billion (ten times Labour’s windfall tax proposals) to help address the cost of living and cutting hundreds of pounds off household bills as well as boosting the incomes of the lowest paid through the rise in the national living wage, changes to universal credit and raising the national insurance thresholds. We must remember that the Government has done more than any other in our country's history to provide for the most vulnerable over the past two years and stands ready to act again if required. As another example, Cornwall Council has also been given £5million by the government to support those most in need at this time and I was pleased to see them announce this week how this money will be used.
However, we are well aware that the current pressures on household budgets are likely to continue to some time and we continue to monitor things closely. The Prime Minister has made clear we will bring forward further support as and when required. But we also need to be clear, there is no free money. Whatever support is provided will have to be paid for by taxpayers in the months and years ahead. It is a difficult balance to strike, and we need to have a clear plan going forward to grow the economy, see wages rise and spread prosperity across the country. This was indeed what the Queen’s Speech laid out.”